10 Things You Should Do When Separating from Your Partner

Deciding to separate from your partner or spouse is one of the hardest decisions you will ever make, especially if there are children involved. Not only do you have to consider the practical elements of the separation, but also the steps you should take to ensure that the process is as smooth and pain-free for everyone involved. At Robert Wood and Associates, we are home to an experienced team of lawyers Ringwood families rely on for professional advice and personalised service. If you have decided to leave your relationship, here are 10 things you should do.

Understand Your Marital Finances

Sorting out your financial situation as early as you can will relieve the stress of dealing with it once the separation is underway. Pay attention to the little things, such as who pays the electricity bill and whose name each bill is in. Also ensure you open your own personal bank account if you don’t already have one.

Make Copies of All Financial Documents

Financial documents relating to the assets, liabilities and financial resources in your name and your former partner’s name, including, bank account statements (including personal accounts and mortgage statements), pay slips, tax returns, superannuation statements, share statements and credit card statements should all be photocopied. Copies of all relevant financial documents will enable your family lawyer to provide you with more refined advice at the outset of your separation.

Keep a Diary

Start a diary which keeps track of time your partner has with the children and any adverse behaviour he or she displays. Also keep track of any payments you make or any other relevant information that may be necessary for your settlement.

Contact Your Bank or Financial Institution

Either visit in person or send a letter or email to your bank advising of your separation. Ensure your signature is showing and ask to stop joint funds being removed or liabilities increased.

Change Your Passwords

Whether your separation is civil or not, it’s important to change your bank PIN numbers, internet and telephone banking passcodes and email passwords to ensure your ex cannot access your accounts to withdraw money or make any changes. Also change your social media passwords and ensure strict privacy settings are in place.

Store Valuable Documents Somewhere Safe

Documents such as bank statements and passports can disappear after separation. Leave any valuable documents with someone you trust. If you have concerns about your partner taking your children overseas without your permission, store your children’s passports somewhere safe too.

Update Your Will

Separation does not automatically change your Will, so your ex-partner is still the beneficiary of your assets if you pass away. Contact your family lawyer in Melbourne promptly to update your Will. You should also consider whether you want to change the beneficiaries listed in your insurance policies and superannuation fund.

Revoke Any Power of Attorney

If you have appointed your spouse or partner as your Attorney, you should revoke that Power of Attorney as soon as possible.

Do Title Searches On Your Properties

If your home is not in your name or if it is in joint names, you can place caveats over the properties to ensure they are not sold without your permission. If your property is held as a joint tenant, ensure you sever the joint tenancy.

Get Legal Advice

While you may settle your separation amicably, it’s still important that you are fully informed before making any big decisions. If you have children, make sure you find out about child support and how much is to be paid or is payable.

The information contained in this blog post is of a general nature only, please seek legal advice before acting on any information. If you are in need of a family lawyer in Ringwood, Melbourne to discuss separation, divorce or child custody agreements, get in touch with Robert Wood and Associates today by calling (03) 9762 3877.

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